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Greater transparency call over income tax collection

GREATER transparency is needed if Holyrood is to be able to scrutinise Customs' collection of the new Scottish rate of income tax, a parliamentary committee has said.

The Public Audit Committee has set out for the first time what audit information the Scottish Parliament can expect, and what further data is required if Holyrood is to have proper oversight and scrutiny of £4.5 billion worth of income tax collected by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) from Scottish tax payers.

Under the Scotland Act 2012, the basic, higher and additional rates of income tax levied by the UK Government would be reduced by 10 pence in the pound for those defined as Scottish tax payers. The Parliament would then set one single rate of income tax (SRIT) across all tax bands.

The committee has identified specific "performance" data it says should also be provided to the Scottish Parliament - data that would include details of tax write-off, fraud and error levels as well as measures of how well Scottish tax payers are served by HMRC.

Public Audit Committee convener Hugh Henry MSP said "This committee recognises the Parliament's ability to hold HMRC to account for its performance in accurately collecting the SRIT is vitally important in ensuring Scotland receives its fair allocation of income tax."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "We welcome the committee's consideration of this important issue. We will respond to the committee's report as soon as possible."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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